Couples fight
Couples fight

I’m a woman in my twenties and have been dating my boyfriend for about a year.

He’s great – sexy, fun and cool– but I’m struggling with his living arrangements. He rents a flat with his sister, who’s a couple of years older, and it feels like she’s always there.

Maybe because I’m an only child, I find it weird that they’re so close, but I’m starting to become quite jealous of their relationship and also annoyed that we hardly ever get a break from her.

They walk around the flat half-naked in front of each other, share a load of in jokes and are always lying together on the sofa.

Quite often, they’ll disagree with me on something and I feel really ganged up on. He usually takes her side in any debate.

I know this sounds a bit silly and petty, which is why I haven’t mentioned it to my boyfriend. But I really don’t see how our ­relationship can progress when his sister is always hanging around and I’m starting to resent her.

She’s single, which doesn’t help, so it means she invites herself along to things a lot.

It’s driving me nuts – please help!

Coleen says

She lives there, so it’s unrealistic to expect her to go out every time you go over.

If you’re spending a lot of time over there, maybe it’s time to discuss sharing a flat with your boyfriend?

You don’t have to be mean about his sister, but explain that it feels like you never get any time alone and it’s starting to feel a bit like you’re in a ­relationship with both of them. Unless you say something, he’ll assume things are fine.

But don’t go down the route of “it’s her or me” because it’s likely you’ll lose. His sister is always going to be in his life. But it sounds like he ­probably needs to grow up a bit when it comes to your ­relationship – he should be able to say to his sister: “It’s date night, so it’s just the two of us going out.”

That shouldn’t be a big deal. And maybe if he does start having more boundaries around your relationship, then his sister will be more ­sensitive, too.

I’m single and living with my daughter Ciara and her boyfriend Max. Some nights they’ll say they’re going to the pub and always ask me to come, but usually I don’t because I realise they need their time together.

Sometimes if I’m ­downstairs watching telly, they’ll go upstairs and watch something in Ciara’s room because all ­relationships need space.

I just think they need to be aware of that and you all have to make some compromises.